After changing any URL aliases, you must click on the Bulk Update tab, and update the URL's that you want to change. After doing that, if you click on your Articles that you create, they should have the proper URL heading. You do need PathAuto.
So, in summation, if you want your news, sports, blog, and such articles each under, something.com/news/somearticle, something.com/blog/mygreatday and so on, go to admin/structure/taxonomy and add vocabulary, mine is called "Website Sections", once you are done, click "Add Terms" for that vocabulary, and add your terms such as "Sports", "Blog", "News" and so on.
From there, go to admin/structure/content types and click on "Manage Fields" for the fields you want it to work for. I edited Articles. So, in "manage fields" in the "add new field" area, type in your vocabulary name, which is "Website Sections" in this example, select "term reference" and "Check Boxes/Radio". On the next page, select the "Website Sections" vocabulary. Do what you want in the next part, and save it.
Now, go to Admin-> Configuration -> Search and Metadata -> URL Aliases and click on the Patterns tab. In the "Patterns for all Article Paths" type in this, [node:field_website_sections]/[node:title] or select the two from the "Replacement Patterns" area.
Now, when you create new content, you can create a new article, put in the title (which will be part of your path), and there will be a "Website Sections" and your tag to select. If you have it selected to automatically create an alias, it should be correct now. If you already had webpages, you can update your aliases in the Patterns tab from the previous paragraph, but in the "Bulk Update" part. If you update it, it should update your aliases and you will be good to go.
Your article addresses should now be something.com/yourselectedtag/yourtitleforthearticle
I shared this, as it took me over a half work day just to do this. I am new to this as well, so figure it may help someone else as well.